Rondeau Provincial Park (established 1894, 33 km2
) provides environmental protection and recreation on one of 3 peninsulas jutting south into Lake ERIE
. It lies 120 km east of Windsor and 115 km southwest of London.
The peninsula was formed in late geological time by currents in glacial Lake Erie that converged and deposited sediment that accumulated in a succession of sandbars. The processes continue and the cuspate sandspit is continually changing in size and shape. It has been colonized successively by grasses, oaks and white pines and, finally, by some shade-tolerant species (eg, sugar maple, American beech). In addition, plants such as tulip and sassafras, normally occurring much farther south, are found, as are some 125 herbaceous plants considered rare in Ontario (eg, species normally associated with tall-grass prairie). Eighteen species of orchids flourish in Rondeau.
Over 30 mammal species have been observed in the park and amphibians and reptiles (eg, turtles, toads, fox snakes) are well represented. Rondeau is renowned for bird life: 323 species have been recorded; 124 have nested in the park and 80% of all species found in Ontario have been seen here, including the rare prothonotary WARBLER.
exploited the area's fish, game and plant resources. The English recognized the timber and harbour potential, bought the land and, in 1795, declared it Ordnance Land, reserved for government purposes. Thereafter, it was used for naval purposes, exploited for timber, waterfowl, fur bearers and fish and, in the late 1800s, developed for hotels and tourism. In 1894 it became Ontario's second provincial park.
All the campsites are close to the beach and 5 walking trails help you explore the park. Day-use facilities, a boat launch and pier are also available.
JOHN S. MARSH